I doubt you’ll have heard of Elsa Beskow unless you’re Swedish or perhaps lived in Sweden for a few years. Elsa Beskow was a Swedish children’s books author and illustrator – I like to think of her as the Beatrix Potter of Sweden (and apparently that’s how she’s known internationally but I didn’t know that when I first thought up the comparison – I is a genius); most people know her life’s work from their childhood and will in all likelihood pass on these stories and books to their own children.
I would probably never have discovered Ms Beskow if it hadn’t been for a 16 hour long layover in Copenhagen on my way back from Paris to San Francisco after the Christmas holidays. I repeat. 16 HOURS. OVERNIGHT (as in, I landed late on a snowy, freezing night – not exactly the perfect window to visit the city). The things a girl will do to avoid spending an extra $600 on a plane ticket ey… Anyway, given that I knew that the next 16 hours were going to be spent in a mostly empty airport with a bench as my only companion, my first instincts were to locate a quiet spot to later take a serious nap, make sure I was covered for water and food, and of course take advantage of all the stores to distract myself while they were still open. Which is how I ended up in the Design Stockholm House store AKA the Mecca of all things cute and pretty for your house.
I saw a zillion things that I wanted there (I’ve got the hots for Scandi home design to the point where I feel like writing a song called ‘I left a piece of my heart in a Copenhagen homeware store’ may be justified), but one of the few brands which really tickled my fancy was the Elsa Beskow homeware line. Whimsical, poetic, unique, timeless – you could tell that each item had its own story and I fell in love with each and every one of them (mugs, bowls, trays, cards, napkins… gimme the whole lot!). Now to be clear, the patterns were created by Catharina Kippel using Beskow’s illustrations (Beskow passed in 1953 innit).
In the words of Dido:
I won’t go
I won’t sleep
I can’t breathe
…until my kitchen is filled with this beautiful crap.
If you’re as obsessed with these as I am and fancy a mug, or a bowl, or the entire range, follow this link to find the most convenient e-store for you.